When you think about building tomorrow’s workforce, math skills probably come to mind. But art powers vibrant development, too. Wichita’s fortunate to have Arts Partners addressing the issue by connecting artists to schools for supplemental art instruction.

Designing a Future

The Generation STEAM initiative, aimed at increasing under-resourced students’ access to a quality education in science, technology, engineering, math and art, brought artists and engineering students from WSU to USD 259 schools in Wichita. They combined STEAM disciplines to design park equipment powered by solar and wind energy. One group wanted to turn a concrete box covering up controls into a “free graffiti zone.” Another wanted to develop solar-powered fountains by incorporating panels into sculpture.

Jardine students working on their Generation STEAM projects. Photo courtesy: Arts Partners.

When students talked about the projects, you could see them mentally connecting the dots inside their head. It wasn’t just about art, or science, or the parks – it was about visualizing a career path that involved creative problem solving using multiple tools. In short, using STEAM.

Generation STEAM logo animation

Engineering a Logo

The playful logo we created is almost like watching students’ eyes light up and their minds race with possibilities. Colorful circles represent each of the five STEAM disciplines. Line work literally connects the dots, reinforcing the role each plays. When combined, they create something powerful enough to fuel a generation.

It’s our hope that when someone asks you to support a STEAM initiative, especially for grades K-12, you will say yes. Our tomorrows depend on it.